Friday, April 28, 2017

You're Competing with Japan, Not WorldCon

If you think that the Pulps are only in the past, you're not looking east to Japan. There the Pulps are normal, and all of their pop-culture juggernauts have some degree of the Pulp aesthetic to it. Sure, it's Japanese Pulp, but it's still Pulp and you're a fool to disregard it- your young audience doesn't, because that's where they're getting most of their satisfaction these days (and have for many years now).

This is your competition going forward, and not the shit out of WorldCon. Your audience already has established alternatives, alternatives that are masters at audience engagement and understand the psychology of fandom well enough to give Lucasfilm cause for worry. Knowing the past and learning from the masters is good, but that's not enough; you need to get familiar with what the current masters do if you want to bring that Pulp diaspora home.

(Not to knock the European comics scene, but you guys are nowhere near the juggernaut that Japan erected.)

I'm not kidding. Watch that Thunderbotl episode and see how shameless they are in mixing up things that Western authors wouldn't even conceive of doing. Meanwhile, they tell stories featuring women being women (and man, that tatted chick looks like she came out of a Return of Kings article; based Japan is based) and men being men- hero and villain alike. No wonder they have so much pull in the West, such that Hollywood's had to play catchup (and still fail): Japan doesn't lie to the audience.

Nevermind the Big 5. Your real rivals are in Tokyo.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Suddenly, ANTHOLOGY!

I got invited to contribute to my first fiction anthology recently. After a group chat last Sunday, I got clarification that we can talk about this publically now that we're all working on it, so here it is: Six Salvations

Daddy Warpig gave us our prompt last Sunday. Where we've gone with it is very, very different from one to the next. As far as I know, I'm the only one opting for a historical setting. Everyone else is (more or less) contemporary or in the future, and we're going for very different takes on the McGuffin we're given in the prompt and what it means. I'm confident that readers will enjoy our stories, and therefore the anthology as a whole.

No, this doesn't mean I'm benching Blood Moon. After having some beta readers give me feedback, I'm going to rewrite it and the new goal will be to have it ready when the anthology drops so I can take advantage of cross-promotion. After I finish these two stories, I'm moving on to another right away. Dragon Award winner Brian Niemeier has a great post on how the giants of the Pulp Era made their fortunes today, and what that means for me is that I've got a lot of professional development to do this year.

In short, Trad Pub is so wrong that they're not even in the same galaxy as right- and hasn't been for decades. Those who want to prosper need to stop with the obese books and get back to the historical norm--the mean--that is the 40-60K word novel. That sort of length is proven to sustain reader interest, and it's time we got back to it. All of the years I've written for free are finally starting to pay off.

Friday, April 14, 2017

"Blood Moon" Needs Beta Readers

The latest draft of "Lacann Pell and the Blood Moon of Rammagar" is complete. I'm going to spend some time tonight after dinner cleaning it up. I'm soliciting Beta Readers; some of you I'll contact directly when I'm done cleaning it up. If you want to play, drop a comment below.

No, the story is not in a state I would want to publish it, yet. I anticipate one more round of revision, minimum, but no more than three. At this point I'm on paper and it's just a matter of making corrections before I nail that bullseye; I will finish this as a short story, but I anticipate that readers can easily see the potential for this being expanded into a novel of the length Moorcock made his bones writing- or about that Howard did for Conan.

I want to get this done by the end of this month, past which I will want to either find a short fiction outlet to buy and publish it, or finish setting up at Amazon and doing it myself.

Friday, April 7, 2017

"Blood Moon" Almost Ready For Beta Readers

The current draft of Lacann Pell and the Blood Moon of Rammagar will be finished this weekend, and when it's done I'll be looking for some folks to play Beta Reader before I give it three days to cool, then one more round of polish before I start considering my publication options. It's going to come out between 6000 and 7500 words; it's short, but readers should be able to see where the potential for either building this out into a novella or a novel (in the historic sense of about 50K words, not in the current Doorstopper Drek on the shelves) or to make this Part One of a larger novel-length work (ala Moorcock expanding Dent's formula to novels).

I'll start asking some of you if you're game to play the reader roll in a few days.

After I decide what to do (expand into larger work, make it Part One of an old-school serial, or just publish it as a stand-alone) and get on with doing that, I'm going to start digging through the (virtual) drawer to see what's worth my attention next.